T Nation

2020: IronOne Levels Up

It’s time for a fresh new log for 2020.

Why don’t we begin with 2020 rules and goals:

Gym Rules:

  1. Take only high quality reps.
  2. Use minimum effective dose.
  3. Monitor recovery. Be optimal. It’s not that hard.
  4. Daily something prehab. 10-15 mins.

2020 Goals - Do them all within a week

  1. Squat 275x10
  2. OHP 155x10
  3. Axle Bench 225x10
  4. Mile Run 7:00
  5. S&S 100lb

I’ve done all of this in the past (minus S&S 100lb), so this is getting back to where I’ve been. Not in a hurry, either. I’m going to stay healthy.



3RM: 185/x/x/x
5RM: 175/x/x/130
8RM: x/x/x/x
10RM: x/190/x/x
20RM: x/x/x/x
3x3: x/x/x/x
3x5: 170/185/x/120
3x10: 160/170/x/110

I’ll continue to track the above sets/reps and update as old numbers fall. I’ll go for periods of volume, then switch to low volume rep maxes and have deload a in between.


12/27/2019 - Prehab/Conditioning

Upper prehab stuff
Glute roll with figure 8

40 min outdoor recovery type conditioning

  • walk up hill/jog down
  • walk

I should be ready for an upper day tomorrow.


12/28/2019 - S&S #11

Single Arm Swing + Swing (14:00)
Work up
80x5x10 + 10 (100 SA swings, 50 two hand swings)

TGU (10:45)
Work up
80x5x1 (10 TGU)

Shoulder prehab


I’ve been adding some two hand swing volume when I don’t push time hard. So swings were 10L, 10R, 10 two handed for each set. Brutal. I was weak today too. Everything was hard. I’m not ready for the 100, that’s pretty clear. When it gets here, however, it’ll be great motivation with it sitting there staring at me. I’ll start two handing it though. I have a feeling it’ll get TGU’d quick though. The single hand swings will be a bitch though.

Updated gym pic:

Here’s the new rolling plate/bar tree:


12/29/2019 - Upper 2

Axle Bench Press
25x10, 75x10, 115x10, 145x5, 165x5, 180x10, 180x9, 175x9
-alt with-
Light Band Rear Delt Raises

44x2x12, 44x10
Seated Paused SA Band Row

SA Orange Band Lateral Raises
5x10 - no rest, arm to arm finishing with partials

Ring Tricep Exts
KB Curls


1st off, should have went 175 for 3x10 on axle bench instead of jumping 10lbs to 180. Didn’t fail any reps though, just stopped shy of a grinder/miss. I’m learning. 2nd off, I’m not recovered. That S&S session yesterday got me really sore and took more from me than I should have allowed. Yesterday should have been the 62 kb, not 80, since I had an upper session today. Got to be smarter with the scheduling. Still, good workout today. 180 will be doable next week for 3x10 as long as I’m recovered better than I was today. Not sure I’ll be ready for lower tomorrow.

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Do not order Titan kettlebells! The 100lb bell came in super damaged. It also was not as described. The handle was 2.0 inches at a minimum, and the prod description was 1.25 inches. The handle overall was HUGE too. The ugliest bell I’ve ever seen. Anyways, sending it back. Will get go Rogue. Should have to start with since all my others are Rogue. First bad Titan experience. Guess I’ve been lucky.

I have good intentions with wanting to run long term 5/3/1, but I hate the entire platform with all of my being. It’s boring. It’s submax. It’s gimmicky. If there’s one thing I agree with PC on, you got to hit growth inducing reps. This submax shit will not work for me, especially mentally.

I quit before I even started.


I love the way I train. Instinctive, my own thing. Nothing groundbreaking in the method. But, I continue to struggle with the same blind spots:

I need to simplify.
I need to find my lowest effective volume.
I need to recover better which means:
-cut the unneeded junk
-deload dummy-take time off!

So, the plan is to rotate an A and B day, full body.

Workout A
Assistance Giant Set (3 movements, 3x12-15)

Workout B
Assistance Giant Set (3 movements, 3x12-15)

I will continue to work on the above set/rep records, updating as I improve. There will be periods of volume followed by periods of rep tests. Simplicity. I’ll do 4 week blocks of volume followed by 4 weeks of rep tests. Deloads in between.

So, I’ll start with the first 4 weeks:

Workout A:

Ring Push-up
Swiss Bar Curl

Workout B:

Rack Chin
Swiss Bar Ext
Single Leg RDL

I’ll continue this first four weeks with 3x10 volume accumulation for the main work.

Pretty damn similar to 5/3/1 really, ha!


1/1/2020 - A1

45x10, 75x10, 95x3x10

Axle OHP
25x10, 56x5, 75x5, 95x3x10

Stir the Pot (supersetted with main work)

Lunge (slow, controlled long strides)
3x30 strides
Feet Elevated Ring Pushups
Swiss Bar Curls

30 min outside walk


A place to start. No hurry to get anywhere. If I can’t feel the right muscles working, I’m quitting the set.

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You ever try a rep scheme like 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 with increasing weight? It’s the first type of training I ever did and it worked great. I’d like to do it again but my pressing days are over for a while. I always treat the last set as a max effort. If I hit 4 reps then I increase the weights the next time.

It hits volume. It hits strength. And it hits failure. And it can be a good break from straight sets.

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What would you do the first set with, about 50% 1rm?

It’s kind of trial and error. I typically do 10 lb jumps. Back in August I did this on DB Incline (I was only training my left side at the time thanks to shoulder surgery). I did 50x10, 55x8, 60x6, 65x4, 70x0 and then hit 70x4 the next week. The hardest part was the first rep since the DB is sitting on your chest.

You can’t do a 10RM, 8RM and so on. You’ll feel like you have 1 or 2 reps left on the sets of 10, 8, and maybe 6. If you hit 4 reps on the final set then you add weight on all sets. I found that I don’t always get all the reps on that first workout with heavier weights. I just keep using those loads until I hit all the reps and get 4 or more of the last set.

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Not specifically, I like it though! I need to cycle more rep schemes. Thanks!

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Nearly missed this. Gym set up looks real good. In for the ride and to see you smash 2020 out of the ball park.

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Not sure why, but I’m banged up as hell right now. I have theories.

My shoulders are cranky, especially my left. My low back is tight and pissed. My right hip has been pinchy.

My theory is I took 2.5 weeks off from work during vacation. My diet was shit, with plenty of drinking. Very inflammatory. That coupled with later nights, not sleeping real well and a fair amount of alcohol really impaired recovery.

Work started out rough this week, where I had to demote someone I really care about. That weighed on my over the entire Christmas break.

So I’m going to take a week off this week from barbell work, and anything strenuous. Let stuff get calmed down, resume a low inflammatory diet, then come back with slow progression and low volume.

I worked out last night and my body just should not feel like that.

All good, just need a week to get fired back up. :+1:


Man, I’ve almost pulled the trigger on their adjustable competition style KB so many times. I like the idea of having a range of 12-32KG available to me, but I also suspect I’d have buyers remorse with it so I’ve been putting it off.

This might be one of the first times I’ve heard 5/3/1 described this way. Not that you’re wrong or anything, but the zealot reactions would be priceless if it was a more public thought.

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Dude, I ordered a kettlebell from Walmart (similar to titan), and the product description listed a fairly thin handle, this thing was like yours - 2+ inches. Just a monstrosity. My pinky fingers had to be outside the handle to grip it. And I had to do the 10K KB swing challenge with it :cry: it’s no wonder I strained a tendon in my ring finger the first week. On the flip side, the workouts I did at the gym with Rogue KB’s felt like cheat mode.

But that was a 50 lb KB. 100 lbs? No, that defeats the entire purpose of it, haha.

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Man, you sure do enjoy giving me a run for my money on the banged up, modified training side of things.

At some point, you might have to answer these questions:
What are you consistently doing that seems to lead to injuries (even just nagging joint pain)? What are the commonalities?

Hope you get sorted out.

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That bell may be fine, but DO NOT order their cast bells!

Yeah, that may have been a bit strong use of words. I don’t like percentage base programs. It’s more my personal opinion really. It’s just so cookie cutter, do this, don’t do that! That’s not JIMS program! You screwed the whole thing up! It feeds into program ADD too. It’s fine, just not my cup of tea. I bought the book, so there must be something there for me. Perhaps in the future. I doubt it though. I’m moving towards extreme simplicity.

I should have taken a picture of this alien looking thing! It was very damaged too. I duct taped the hell out of the package to send back to Titan. I felt so bad for the FedEx guy. 100lbs, unstable package. Lol

I know it. I will be thinking a lot over the next week. It comes down to recovery though, or lack thereof. I need to get away from so much straight bar pressing too.

I need more consistent deloads.

Blah blah.

I’ll probably be going to one top set of the big lifts, then really work the assistance. Full body is probably not going to work either. Might need to extend my training week.

I’ll get it figured.

But you’re right. I’m thinking.


I like the idea of extending the training week. With just an A & B workout even slow progression leads to a point where the tissue breakdown or effects of the training are accumulating faster than the adaptation or gains are occuring.

That was a big take away of 5/3/1 for me. You go through the 5s week, the 3s week and the 1 week or 9-12 different workouts before you do any kind of progression.

But it kinda felt like being trapped in a spreadsheet.


It very well may be, but I actually went and watched a couple YouTube videos of folks using them (or the Kettlebell Kings version, same deal though) and it seems like more of a PITA than it’d be worth to me at least. Just be one more thing to set up and break down before/during/after workouts and it requires 2 wrenches to make adjustments to the weight. Cool product, but having a handful of KBs is probably just easier to work with long term.

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